Jesus Offers Mercy, Not Condemnation
by Jon Walker
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2 NIV)
No matter what you’ve ever done, there is no condemnation in Christ. He sits at the Father’s right hand, not as an accuser, but as an advocate willing to give his life for you.
God began the work to bring you back into his presence long before you were born. God knows you can’t make the journey home on your own, so while you “were still helpless,” Christ died for you (Romans 5:6 HCSB).
Jesus offers mercy, not condemnation. He says, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13 NIV). His objective is to bring you back into intimacy with the Father, so he’s not interested in making you jump through hoops to prove yourself worthy or to earn back God’s love.
Imagine him saying, “These things you offer to do and the promises you want to make in exchange for your forgiveness, they’re just offerings to help you get over your guilt. I’d rather give you forgiveness and grace as a gift; I desire mercy, not these sacrifices that make you grovel in hopes of winning back my love. You never lost my love!”
“My purpose is not to condemn you but to let my life run free within you as the Holy Spirit connects you directly to the Father” (Romans 8:1-2 NIV, author paraphrase).
“Besides, you can’t wash all the stains away. So, let me do it for you. My blood will be the bleach to wash you white as snow, and my Spirit will begin to live directly in your heart.”
Now wrapped in Christ, we find no condemnation and we’re able to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV).
When you feel condemnation coming at you like a furious flood, stand on the Rock, who said, “I no longer condemn you. Go and sin no more” (John 8:11 NLT, with author paraphrase).
Talk About It
Identify the ways you have been trying to earn God’s approval or sacrificing in order to make up for your guilt.
What would your life be like if you accepted God’s mercy and considered God your advocate and not your accuser? How would your life change?
Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and author of “Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s ‘The Cost of Discipleship’.”